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Attic Storage: Cardboard Carton and
Old 50s Floor Tiles

Not long after I first discovered the internet, I took part in an Attic Swap, for which I made cartons of old 50s floor tiles.

Here's how I did it.

MAKING THE CARTON

WITH MAILING LABEL

1. Print on cardstock.

2. If you do not have carton colored cardstock, first print out the solid panel.

3. Remove page, turn paper over, put page back in printer and print out pattern on reverse side. Test first; process will vary with different printers.

4. Score all fold lines before cutting.

5. Glue bottom and sides of carton together, with drawn lines on INSIDE of box. I use clips to hold the sections together while the glue sets.

6. Fold flaps back so that carton is open.

7. CUT AWAY PRINTED LINES ON TOP FLAPS FOR MORE REALISM.

8. Scuff and indent along edges and corners to show wear, if desired. Chalks or eye shadows are good for smudges.

50s FLOOR TILES

1. First print out a trial page on plain paper to be sure individual tiles will fit in bottom of finished carton. Adjust size as needed.

2. Print on cardstock, then glue page to lightweight cardboard or posterboard. Cut into individual tiles.

3. Stack tiles in box. If necessary, glue blank pieces of cardboard or posterboard in bottom to build up height. There should be enough with this size printie; I sent ready-made tiles for the swap and left them loose for the person to decide how to use them. A couple of tiles may be left askew on flaps of box, if desired, or box may be on side, with tiles spilling out on attic floor.

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"NEW" 50s TILES

To use these tiles for a 50s floor, using your graphics program add enough rows to fill an 8 1/2 by 11 page, then print and glue on cardboard or posterboard as above.

As I recall, most tiles in the 50s did not have a gloss finish, but were waxed after they were laid. For a full waxed floor, I either cover the entire sheet with clear contact paper or paint with a gloss finish, then use the back of a craft knife or used ballpoint pen and a metal-edge ruler to score along lines horizontally and vertically to suggest a tiled floor. Or, of course, if you prefer, you could cut the tiles apart and glue them in individually.

IF you want to show a floor in progress, do not distress the carton and do not add the gloss. You may show a partially done floor, with individual tiles stacked in and beside the opened carton, along with a notched trowel and adhesive.

I had to do a lot of tweaking to clean up this 50s label and make it usable. I glued it to one of those round things that you find in medicine bottles to keep away moisture. If you want to use this label for your container of adhesive, after cutting it out, roll it across the palm of your hand with a round pencil to curve it, then it will glue more easily to the can.

Unfortunately, I gave away the only trowel I made and have not made another. I used decorative zigzag scissors to cut the edges of a piece of silver cardstock from a Christmas card. If you didn't have that, you could glue aluminum foil to a piece of card and then cut, for example, or you could just paint white card silver, etc.

A thin silk pin and small wood bead formed the handle. I tested to find a long hollow bead, like a bugle bead, that the silk pin would slide into, then superglued it to the base. When that was thoroughly dry, I then bent the end of the pin with pliers and superglued it into the bugle bead. Fiddly, but it worked.

You might print out additional cartons and seal them up to suggest enough tiles for the entire room, and if part of the floor is already done, an empty carton tossed to the side.

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Copyright <>Juawanna Newman . All rights reserved.